2014 Leeuwin Estate "Art Series" Chardonnay Margaret River Western Australia (Elsewhere $85)

SKU #1352395 98 points James Halliday

 Part hand, part machine-picked, part wild and part cultured yeast, matured for 11 months in new French oak. Incredibly youthful quartz-green colour; a great chardonnay, its intensity and length right up there with the best prior vintages; white peach and nectarine open the batting, pink grapefruit coming swiftly thereafter, creamy/nutty oak almost lost in the crowd. If this weren't enough, the aftertaste is a work of art, complete in itself.

96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 One of Margaret River's (and Australia's) iconic Chardonnays, Leeuwin's 2014 Art Series Chardonnay continues that proud tradition. Never shy on toasty, nutty oak or bold fruit, the 2014 features both seamlessly woven together in perhaps greater harmony than in past vintages. Hints of white peach, Bosc pear and citrus appear on the medium-bodied palate and linger on the elegant, finely textured finish. (JC)  (12/2017)

95 points Decanter

 Complex aromatics of grapefruit, oyster shell and shale minerality suggest power and energy. Very much in the mould of early Leeuwins with carefully integrated, classy oak and tightly knit flavours that linger. Drinking Window 2017 - 2037. (PF)

95 points James Suckling

 Aromas of cooked apple, pineapple and pear with hints of honeysuckle. Full body, fantastic depth of fruit and intensity. Tight and muscular. Reserved. Powerful. Screw cap. Give it a year or two still but a joy to taste.  (2/2018)

94 points Wine Spectator

 There's delicacy and finesse to the honeysuckle, peach and pear flavors in this white, but also plenty of power to the intensity and focus. Smooth and supple, this has an almost slippery texture, with perfumed and spicy notes gaining momentum on the finish. Drink now through 2023. (MW)  (11/2017)

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Staff Image By: Kirk Walker | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/29/2018 | Send Email
This is one of the benchmark Chardonnays of the world. There is not a Chardonnay lover nor, I will assume winemaker, who will not be impressed with this wine. This is a wine purity balance and dances effortlessly on the palate. It makes most of the white Burgundy that I have had recently look like they are dancing with two left feet.

Staff Image By: Steve Bearden | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/28/2018 | Send Email
This flowery, lacy and sleek wine possesses intense flavors coupled to impeccable balance. The ripe peach and juicy nectarine flavored middle turns a touch tropical on the fine finish but never overwhelms the overall sense of finesse. This is beautifully crafted.

Staff Image By: Brian Fogarty | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/28/2018 | Send Email
Truly one of the giants of great wine from Oz, the 2014 Art Series Chardonnay lives up to the hype. The Leeuwin peninsula in Margret River is renowned for its Cabernets, but the small amount of Chardonnay that is produced by the founding family is spectacular! The bouquet opens up in the glass with a balance of white summer peach, quartz-y minerality and a whisp of oak. Tangerine zest, white pepper, lavender and sage build in the distance as you mind tries to wrestle together words that describe the beautiful nuance musing behind the obvious. On the palate the outcome is the same; a striking beauty poised with harmony and a striking presence. Clean, mouth filling and balanced the stone fruit is on center stage with the support of savory Meyer lemon, crème brulee and a lasting hazelnut tone. The wine has an eternal finish that still persists into the end of this review…

Staff Image By: Gary Norton | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/28/2018 | Send Email
This lovely wine features an expressive nose of white flowers, ripe citrus, mango and baking spices. The palate is clean and sharp, yet subtly rich at the same time, adding more notes of citrus and pit fruits towards the back-end. Finishes long - a great wine for the money. Drinks more like Chassagne Montrachet than Aussie Chardonnay.

Staff Image By: Ryan Moses | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/28/2018 | Send Email
What a brilliant wine! Leeuwin once again makes the case that world class Chardonnay doesn't have to come from Burgundy or California. Beautifully bright aromatics lead to a perfectly balanced palate full of ripe pear, meyer lemon, and just a hint of nuttiness. The absolutely seamless texture steals the show, and lively acidity lends tension and length to this year's Art Series. Without a doubt, this is Grand Cru caliber at an affordable price. Wonderfully accessible now, it will also be one that those with more patience can enjoy for another decade-plus at the very least.

Staff Image By: Greg St. Clair | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/28/2018 | Send Email
A classic toasty, rich chardonnay! The nose is full of sweet vanillin, pineapple and a bit of white flower. On the palate the wine has weight and density yet is still well balanced, the creamy texture makes of a supple, smooth mouth-feel. The flavors replay the nose with a bold, toasty vanillin character and then loads of tropical fruit, yet balanced well and finishes with a bit of lift.
Drink from 2018 to 2021

Additional Information:

Varietal:

Chardonnay

- It's hard to believe that up until about 30 years ago, this extremely popular varietal hid behind the veil of geographical names like Chablis and Puligny-Montrachet. Now grown all over the world and bottled by its varietal name, Chardonnay has achieved a level of branding unlike any other wine. Surprisingly, though, what you get when you buy Chardonnay can differ greatly from country to country and even within one country, depending on the climate where it's grown and how it is vinified and aged. From fresh, crisp and minerally with apple and lemon notes to rich and buttery with tropical fruit overtones, Chardonnay runs the gamut. In France's Burgundy, Chardonnay is the source of the prized wines of Chablis, Corton-Charlemagne, Mâcon, Meursault and Montrachet. It also the foundation of exceptional Champagne, where it is blended with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier or vinified on its own into Blanc de Blancs. It is also extremely popular in California, and is gaining popularity in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Spain and South Africa.
Country:

Australia

- While it is true that the greatest strides in Australian winemaking have come in the last 30 years or so, commercial viticulture began as early as the 1820s and has developed uninterrupted ever since. The majority of the great wine regions are in the southeastern area of the continent, including Barossa Valley, Clare Valley, McLaren Vale, and Coonawarra in South Australia; Yarra Yarra Valley and Pyrenees in Victoria; and the Upper and Lower Hunter Valleys in New South Wales. Many of the wines from Southeastern Australia are based on Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon and various blends including Grenache and Mourvedre. In Western Australia, along the Margaret River, great strides are being made with Pinot Noir as well as Bordeaux-styled reds. There are also many world-class releases of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc from the land Down Under, where Riesling also enjoys international acclaim. While many equate Aussie wines with “value,” there are more than a few extremely rare and pricey options, which never fail to earn the highest ratings from wine publications and critics throughout the world.
Sub-Region:

Western Australia

Specific Appellation:

Margaret River

Alcohol Content (%): 13.9